Chicken curry is every culture’s comfort dish. There are numerous variations of them from culture to culture, but that brings us closer together, and food is always a wonderful way to communicate across cultural boundaries. This time, we paired it with Kelupis – a local rice dish popular among the Orang Ulu groups.
Rebekah Reenay lent her expertise as our instructor as we gathered at WAT Academy for the third edition of Culinary Demo and Dialogue.
Similar to the first two sessions, participants were given fresh ingredients to work with. This time, they were given sticky rice, santan, fresh chicken flesh, and other necessary ingredients to make the dishes.
Rebekah initially demonstrated how to make kelupis, including advice and the method she used, but she also gave the participants the option of doing it their own way while still following the procedures. She showed the attendees how to wrap the glutinous rice once it was cooked, and she also gave the names of the leaves that were used to make kelupis. Only this particular type of leaf, known as “Daun Itip,” is good for Kelupis. It leaves a very nice aroma when using Daun Itip to wrap Kelupis.
She completed her part, and then it was the participants’ turn to get the Kelupis ready. After wrapping them all, the kelupis were placed in the steamer to cook.
After that, Rebekah demonstrated how to make a simple chicken curry for the participants. Everyone moved to their respective stations and began preparing chicken curry in their own style. My stomach began to growl as the aroma of chicken curry filled the space.
It was time to plate the kelupis and chicken curry after they had finished cooking. I surmised that everyone was hungry, so they all just helped themselves and sampled each other’s dishes. We were given the opportunity to “tapau” the chicken curry and kelupis as well as exchange opinions and advice.
I am very appreciative of Yayasan Perpaduan Sarawak’s assistance for this session; I have had positive feedback on it. I hope that more sessions like this can be held in the future so that young and old can interact more and learn about each other’s cultures as well as Sarawak cuisine.